Sundance Film Festival Co-founder Charged With Abusing Young Girl - MTO News

Sterling Van Wagenen, 71, co-founder of the world-renowned Sundance Festival has been charged with felony aggravated sexual abuse.

Wagenen who is an Oscar-winning movie director is accused of inappropriately touching a girl on two occasions between 2013 and 2015, according to a probable cause statement filed with the charges on Apr 4. 

According to Page Six, the alleged abuse occurred in two northern Utah cities when the girl was between the ages of 7 and 9, online court records show.

He has not yet entered a plea to one count of felony sexual abuse of a child.

“Recent reports in the press have made us aware of allegations of sexual abuse by Sterling Van Wagenen, who played a role in founding both the Festival and the Institute,” a Sundance Institute spokesperson told TheWrap. 

“He has no current connection to either entity, and hasn’t since he left our Utah Advisory Board in 1993. Sundance Institute categorically denounces his behavior as described in recent reports, and we stand in solidarity with those whose brave truth-telling shines light on abusive behavior.”

He was released on $75,000 bail.